WITH first-choice ruckman Sam Jacobs in doubt, Adelaide are set to summon novice Reilly O’Brien for Thursday night’s AFL game against Geelong.
Jacobs appears unlikely to recover in time from a knee injury suffered in Friday night’s win against Sydney.
O’Brien, who has played just two AFL games, both in 2016, is the frontrunner to replace Jacobs for the Adelaide Oval fixture against the undefeated Cats.
And Crows stalwart David Mackay says O’Brien carries the confidence of teammates to perform at the elite level.
“He moves really well, like Sauce (Jacobs), he has got great follow-up on the ground and is an elite runner for a guy of his size,” Mackay told reporters on Tuesday.
“If he does come in, it’s a great opportunity for him.
“He has really been challenging Sauce for a number of years now to try and take over that role, so it’s great internal competition for us.
“He has probably driven Sauce along as well, so if he does get the opportunity, we’re really confident that he’ll be able to come in and play his role.”
The Crows enter the Thursday night encounter with just a six-day break, but the Cats will have just five days in between.
But Mackay expected Geelong to show no ill effect from their brief turnaround between games.
“It’s a one-off occurrence,” Mackay said
“If you were doing it every week it would be a bit different.
“I don’t see it having any impact.
“We have had a couple of six-day (breaks) in a row, it’s not something that we think about too much.”
Many pundits expected Geelong to slide down the ladder this season but Chris Scott’s team have banked consecutive wins against powerful clubs, Collingwood and Melbourne, to open their season.
“They’re a quality opposition, they have been for a number of years,” Mackay said.
“We have had really tight games with them over the years so it’s a big game.
“It’s really important for us to continue on after last week.”
© AAP 2019